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INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                                    85
within the British boundaries, besides many others which,
from being in a different state, or belonging to different va-
rieties of others found elsewhere, are essential for the elucida-
tion of our Flora. For the same reasons we include the Chi-
nese Tibetan district of Guge, immediately north of Kumaon,
which has been examined by Captain E. Strachey and Mr.
Winterbottom, and whose Flora is identical with that of the
British Tibetan valleys of Piti, and of Niti (in Kumaon).
Nipal and Bhotan again are wholly independent states;
but to exclude them would be to omit all notice of the
splendid labours of Wallich on the OTIC hand (which reflect"so
much lustre on the liberality of a former Government of
India), and of Griffith on the other, who alone has explored
Bhotan. Sikkim occupies an intermediate position between
Nipal and Bhotan; a considerable part of it belongs to the
British, the rest is maintained by our influence and autho-
rity; and the whole presents a flora which is not only the
best investigated of any district cast of Ivumaon, but miitcs
the Floras of Nipal, Bhotan, East Tibet, and the Khasia
mountains; being hence, in a gcographico-botanical point of
view, one of the most important provinces in India, if not in
all Asia.
Returning to the extreme west, tlic political boundary of
British India lies at no great distance beyond the Indus, but
does not include the mountainous regions of Afghanistan, the
whole of which was investigated about fifteen years ago by
Griffith, who accompanied the army of the Indus on its march
from Sind to Candahar and Cabul, and penetrated as far as
Baraian and Saighan, forming very largo collections. These,
besides containing an immense number of Persian and Eu-
ropean plants, which find their eastern limits within the Bvi-
tivsh territory, arc rich in Himalayan forms which advance
uo further west, n.nd, what is of still groatei* importance, they
contain many species common both to Europe and the Hima-
laya, but which, from presenting differences induced by local
causes in these t\vo distant countries, ini^ht not be imagined to